From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Roger Eliot Fry (14 December 1866 – 9 September 1934) was an English artist and critic, and a member of the Bloomsbury group. Despite establishing his reputation as a scholar of the Old Masters, as he matured as a critic he became an advocate of more recent developments in French painting, to which he gave the name Post-Impressionism. The first figure to raise public awareness of modern art in Britain, he was described by the art historian Kenneth Clark as "incomparably the greatest influence on taste since Ruskin... In so far as taste can be changed by one man, it was changed by Roger Fry".
In 1906 Fry was appointed Curator of Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. This was also the year in which he "discovered" the art of Paul Cézanne, beginning the shift in his scholarly interests away from the Italian Old Masters and towards modern French art.
In November 1910, Fry organised the exhibition Manet and the Post-Impressionists (a term which he coined) at the Grafton Galleries, London. This exhibition was the first to prominently feature Gaugin, Manet, Matisse, and Van Gogh in England and brought their art to the public. Virginia Woolf later said, "On or about December 1910 human character changed," referring to the effect this exhibit had on the world. Fry followed it up with the Second Post-Impressionist Exhibition in 1912. It was patronised by Lady Ottoline Morrell, with whom Fry had a fleeting romantic attachment.
In 1913 he founded the Omega Workshops, a design workshop based in London's Fitzroy Square, whose members included Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. A Blue plaque was inveiled in Fitzroy Square on 20 May 2010.
- Vision and Design (1920)
- Heresies of an Artist (1921)
- Transformations (1926)
- Cézanne. A Study of His Development (1927)
- Henri Matisse (1930)
- French Art (1932)
- Reflections on British Painting (1934)